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#253925 - 26 December 18 6:10 pm - America/Chicago Beware of "Agents"
CapnBri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03 August 17
Posts: 5
Belize is the land of scams.

It seems everyone I talk to in Belize has either been a victim of a scam or knows at least one person who has been victimized.

My wife and I have been to Belize several times. We decided early on that we wanted to move to Belize full time, more or less. To do so we wanted to apply for the Qualified Retired Person's (QRP) residency. This program offers (or offered) several advantages that apply directly to our situation. Since we are out of the country a lot and having learned that the Belizean bureaucracy has a reputation for slow-motion "progress" we decided to hire an agent* to usher our application. That turns out to have been a bad mistake.

We endured so many problems with our agent that I can remember only about half of them. We experienced, misdirection, delays, lies, requests for MORE information, more delays, empty promises, more lies (one that cost us over $500 in fees paid to the government), then a few more delays along with the same false promises and ultimately we even caught our agent in an overt act of criminal fraud, which was the last straw. That was it. We were done.

After an entire year of these deceptions and manipulations as our agent blamed government delays, we learned that the Belize Tourism Bureau (the BTB) never even received our application or our application fee. Apparently our agent took the application fee (a meager $600, US) and did something other than submit it with our application, as we had agreed. We forfeited our application fee and now, are back where we started. Had we simply submitted our application directly ourselves, our many problems would be over.

Because of several conditions and events in our lives during this period it it is difficult to explain how much damage his actions caused. If I tried to spell it all out, you would need medical attention to get over the boredom. I will just say that things got bad for us. The loss of our lousy 600 bucks barely even matters. The greater loss is our dream of spending our last years in Belize and our failure to fulfill several commitments that to help several of our friends in Belize.

I STRONGLY recommend that if you are interested in dealing with the BTB, avoid "agents" who promise to make your life easier in Belize. There may be some good ones out there, somewhere, but how can you tell? We vetted our guy, but it appears that his references were lying or stupid. Don't trust anyone. Make them PROVE that they are trustworthy before you make any commitments.


__________________________________________
* I will be happy to provide details on this person and his company. If you need to know, just send me a private message.

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#253926 - 26 December 18 6:52 pm - America/Chicago Re: Beware of "Agents" [Re: CapnBri]
britinbelize Online   content

**

Registered: 01 June 14
Posts: 336
Loc: Bay area CA + Belmopan
The red tape and associated delays in Belize is a problem, but it is the same for everyone, be they the applicant or the "agent". I can see little benefit for paying someone else to have access to all your personal information, and no agent can open a Belize bank account for you, which you need to send you monthly $2k to fulfill the QRP requirements. It is annoying and long winded but most folks can do it themselves within the year long time frame your Agent has supposedly been "Helping" you.
Good luck With your new application, hope it has not put you off your dream.

Just for interest what was the nationality of your Agent? One bad experience with that guy can not justify a claim that "Belize is the land of scams," scammers are in every country.


Edited by britinbelize (26 December 18 6:57 pm - America/Chicago)
Edit Reason: additional comments.
_________________________
We came to the states for our last adventure before we die but as we didn't die yet, there is time for another adventure this time back to Belize.

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#253927 - 26 December 18 8:35 pm - America/Chicago Re: Beware of "Agents" [Re: britinbelize]
CapnBri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03 August 17
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: britinbelize

Just for interest what was the nationality of your Agent? One bad experience with that guy can not justify a claim that "Belize is the land of scams," scammers are in every country.


The agent is not a Belizean guy. He's Irish. But his partner is a Belizean.

And yes, scammers are everywhere. But I have traveled to countries on every continent on earth except Africa and Antarctica and I have never seen the sheer volume of scams that I have observed personally in Belize or heard about from the victims themselves, and I don't even live there full time.

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#253928 - 26 December 18 9:35 pm - America/Chicago Re: Beware of "Agents" [Re: CapnBri]
britinbelize Online   content

**

Registered: 01 June 14
Posts: 336
Loc: Bay area CA + Belmopan
Most businesses Owned/run by expats have a Belizean "Partner" on the books as it is a legal requirement in most cases.
Funny how many of those scamming companies are headed by expats, but they will very quickly point out they have that Belizean 'Partner' if you complain about the service you have received.
There are a couple of Belize guys in Belmopan (brothers) both with a good education, with college in the US, who earn there 'living' as "businessmen" In truth they are simply picking up there partnership checks each month and attending the 'office' about once a month. Good pool players though. When asked about those business partnerships, neither can tell you what the various companies do without finding some paperwork with the name written down. They have both offered their services to my son if he wants to start any sort of business.
If any of those businesses they are involved with, ends up in court it is those 2 guys who will be the ones paying the price and the expat partners will be back in the states or wherever is home for them.

It is more like Belize is the land Scammers all move to.

It doesn't help that so many expats only want to work with other expats, believing an Expat is going to understand the Belize life and laws so much better than an educated Belize citizen offering the same services.
_________________________
We came to the states for our last adventure before we die but as we didn't die yet, there is time for another adventure this time back to Belize.

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